In The Spotlight, Sports

Game, Set, Match: Volleyball Pushes For Another Record Season

Penguin’s Olivia White (14) and Delaney Tuholski (5) block a shot from Saint’s Leah Day (10) during Wednesday night’s volley game against Mt. Hood Community College at Clark on Oct, 4, 2017. The Penguins beat the Saints in all three sets.
(Andy Bao/The Independent)

Women’s volleyball has broken the record books for Clark, setting a 6-0 reputation, averaging 8.53 kills per set and 8.26 assists per game with a 20-4 season as of Oct. 12.

“I don’t want to let the ball touch the ground and I don’t want to let my coach down,” said second-year setter and one of the three team captains Olivia Jacoshenk.

She said when the year first started she’d been curious how it would turn out in comparison to past seasons, “Our first game I was like, whoa, we’re good,” and since then her team has blasted past the competition.

“They play so hard and I’m very proud of them,” said Head Coach Mark Dunn.

With more than 30 years of coaching experience, Dunn credits his team’s winning season to hard steady play from good camaraderie and recruiting.

“My first year we won 17, then we won 19, then we won 26 and then 30,” said Dunn. ”So every year our record is getting better and better.”

Dunn said that Clark relies heavily on recruiting extraordinary new players and credits his previous teams for putting the volleyball program “on the map.” He said that it has given more student-athletes initiative to come to Clark and play for the team.

Dunn said another major factor in the recruitment process is that Clark gives student-athletes the ability to earn a two-year education.

“Last year we moved six players on to four-year schools,” Dunn said. “You can show not only the student-athlete, but the parents [that] they can come here, get scholarship money to play and then realize they can get two years of a great education.”

Jacoshenk, who is set to graduate from Clark with her AA in Spring before starting online school for real estate, said she credits her team’s success to the good relationships they have built with each other.

“We squash drama quick,” Jacoshenk said. “[We] want to stay focused but supportive.”

Jacoshenk credits her own success in athletics to the support she has received outside of the team from her grandparents, 16-year-old brother, boyfriend, and being so close to the family home she grew up in. With both her parents having played volleyball in high school and college, they frequently gives her tips. She said she looks up to her mom the most since she played the same position.

“It’s nice to have them there to go to,” Jacoshenk said.

The Penguins finished last season with a 12-2 conference record and an overall 30-11 record.  This season they are well on their way to breaking it with half the season still left.

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